Winter can bring frigid temperatures and slippery conditions around the truck. The key to protecting yourself is to recognize the hazards that can lead to winter-related injuries and illnesses and take proper precautions. Read the information below and determine what you can do to better protect yourself in winter.
RECOGNIZE THE HAZARDS
Snow and ice around the truck can cause slips, trips, and falls. Likewise, whiteout conditions, sun glare, and shorter days reduce visibility and can lead to injuries. Frigid temperatures are a danger when working out in the elements and can lead to frostbite and hypothermia.
Malfunctioning equipment can lead to serious illnesses, such as carbon monoxide poisoning, colds, and viruses. Similarly, inoperable defrosters and wiper blades reduce visibility while driving and can lead to a crash.
Failing to wear proper winter clothing and footwear can lead to preventable injuries and illnesses. Likewise, hurrying and failing to use three-point contact while climbing onto slippery equipment can be hazardous.
KNOW THE DEFENSE
CONDUCT A PRE-TRIP VEHICLE INSPECTION
Ensure all equipment is functioning properly before leaving. Clean all mirrors, reflectors, lights, handrails, and steps of ice, snow, and mud. Use a carbon monoxide detector inside the cab. Ensure you have extra supplies, like washer fluid, tire chains, flashlight, kneeling pad, etc.
UTILIZE PERSONAL PROTECTIVE EQUIPMENT
Always wear a winter coat, gloves, and proper footwear when outside of the truck in freezing temperatures, even if it is only for a short while, like when refueling. Wear shoes with slip-resistant soles.
USE THREE POINTS OF CONTACT
Use three points of contact when working on equipment, meaning both hands and one foot or both feet and one hand are always in contact with the truck. Always face the unit when climbing on or off the tractor or trailer. Do not jump off the tractor or trailer.
BE ATTENTIVE TO YOUR SURROUNDINGS
Avoid distracted walking around the truck and do not hurry. Watch your step and be mindful of hazards like potholes, ice patches, and uneven walking surfaces.
Monitor weather reports and communicate regularly with dispatch. Pack extra cold weather clothing, food, water, and blankets.
As always, you can count on the commercial truck insurance professionals at The Daniel & Henry Company to assist you through challenging claims and all of our insurance, risk management, and safety issues. Contact us today to discuss solutions for your transportation risk management program.